Transports in Glasgow

Glasgow tube
Updated 2019-08-22 11:57

It is cheap and easy to find your way around Glasgow if you know what you're doing. This guide will describe which transport options are most affordable, fastest and most convenient, both for daily work commutes and tourism or leisure.

Work commute in Glasgow

Most businesses in Glasgow are located within the city centre. If your home is in range of one of its 16 stations, using the subway system may be the fastest and easiest way to commute to work. Subways operate on a simple circuit once every 4 minutes during peak times and once every 8 minutes throughout the rest of the day. Each journey should take 12 minutes at the most. Subway stations are open from 6:30 AM until 11:30 PM every day other than Sunday, on which trains run from 10 AM until 6 PM. A return journey on the subway costs £3.30, but getting a Smartcard is the cheapest option for regular trips on the subway. Just £3 a day would cover your commute and any additional journeys you might want to take. Disabled access to the subway system is limited.

Mostly operated by First Bus, the bus routes in Glasgow have far greater coverage than the subway system. There are over 50 bus stops in the city centre alone. However, because of the large number of bus stops, bus travel can be as much as 30 minutes slower than equivalent journeys on the subway. Even so, bus travel is a cheaper option for commuters. Yearly tickets covering unlimited daily travel in the most central zone of the bus network will set you back £499. This roughly equates to £2 a day if you only use the ticket for travelling to and from work in a typical work year. But just like the subway smartcard, it offers unlimited travel every day of the year. Yearly tickets are only available on the mTickets app, where the best deals for all kinds of bus tickets can be found. Most buses are equipped with a wheelchair ramp.

Unless you live within walking distance from your place of work, cycling may be the cheapest option for commuters. Used bikes in Glasgow cost as little as £50, while new bikes in Glasgow, and the rest of the UK, cost around £200 at their cheapest. Cycling can also be one of the fastest options for commuters. However, inexperienced cyclists may want to avoid cycling to work as bikes share the roads with the rest of the Glasgow traffic in most of the city centre.

Overall, using the Subway is the fastest option if your home and workplace are within the vicinity of a subway station. Buses provide the most extensive coverage while walking, or cycling is the cheapest option - but may be inconvenient for many commutes.

Travelling for leisure in Glasgow

There are subway stations nearby most shops and restaurants, which are mainly located in the city centre, or the West End. This means travelling between these two commercial hubs is easiest on the subway. A return ticket costs £3.30, while an all-day unlimited travel ticket costs £4.20 when purchased from a station.

Glasgow bus tours operate every 15 minutes throughout most of the day. A 1-day tour costs £16 for an adult, while a 2-day tour costs only £1 more. These tours are designed to transport tourists to and from the most interesting sights in Glasgow. Riders can get on and off any of the tour buses at any location throughout the duration of their ticket.

To minimise travel time, day trips should be taken by train. Return train tickets to Loch Lomond, nearby towns and beaches cost around £5. Travelling to and from less central locations in Glasgow, such as Pollock Country Park, often costs under £3. Day trips to Edinburgh should be taken at off-peak times to guarantee the lowest prices. The cost of all rail journeys in the UK can be reduced by up to one third if you are eligible for a railcard.

If you want to travel to one of Scotland's many islands, buses often provide more direct routes. This may also be the case for certain areas of the Highlands, although the popular highland locations of Fort William and Ben Nevis are well accessible by train.

Transport to popular locations in England is possible by train and bus. Buses tend to be cheaper but slower than trains. For example, a bus to Manchester can cost as little £11.10 but can take over 10 hours. A train ticket would cost about £20 but arrive in just over 3 hours.

Flying from one of Glasgow's two airports can be the cheapest way to travel to other European cities, including London. Edinburgh airport is also easily accessible from Glasgow, providing more options for flights abroad.

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